2. Check the minimum notice periods

Ontario’s (ESA) has rules about minimum amount of notice employers need to give employees who are fired.

If you’ve worked for: You should get at least this much notice:
Less than 3 months No minimum notice
At least 3 months but less than 1 year 1 week
1 year but less than 3 years 2 weeks
3 years but less than 4 years 3 weeks
4 years but less than 5 years 4 weeks
5 years but less than 6 years 5 weeks
6 years but less than 7 years 6 weeks
7 years but less than 8 years 7 weeks
8 years but less than 9 years 8 weeks

Working for a temp agency

A temp agency usually has to give you one week’s if:

  • the agency sends you to a job that’s scheduled to last 3 months or more, and
  • the job ends before 3 months.

But they don’t have to do this if, during your one week’s notice:

  • they offer to send you to another job,
  • the new job is scheduled to last for at least one week, and
  • the work is reasonable for you.

For example, work might not be reasonable for you if:

  • there’s no way for you to get to the job and back home each day
  • you’re not physically able to do the work

Mass termination

If an employer fires 50 or more workers within a period of 4 weeks, the minimum notice periods might be different. This is sometimes called “mass termination”.

The rules about mass termination are for situations like a large company going out of business or a factory shutting down.

With mass termination, the amount of notice you get doesn’t depend on how long you worked for your employer but on the number of workers being fired.

Number of employees being fired: Amount of notice:
50 to 199 employees 8 weeks
200 to 499 employees 12 weeks
500 or more employees 16 weeks

To find out more about your right to notice if you’re fired, use the Ontario Ministry of Labour’s online Termination Tool.

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